Thursday, July 19, 2018
Public safety

Deputies: Two men found fatally shot at Palm River gas station

TAMPA — Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies are investigating the deaths of two Tampa men found fatally shot outside a Palm River gas station Tuesday morning.

Responding to a call around 1:35 a.m., deputies arrived at a Chevron station at 7710 Madison Ave. to find the bodies of Dremaine Vashaun Johnson, 24, and James J. Nicholas, 23, near gas pumps.

Yaser Saylma, an employee at the gas station, said he believes the victims were customers who minutes earlier purchased blunts. He said he heard eight gunshots and ducked for cover.

The shooting occurred near pump nine at the Chevron, Saylma said, but the station had been out of gas for three days because of Hurricane Irma.

It appears the men knew each other.

Friends of both gathered at pump nine at 10 a.m. Tuesday and placed a teddy bear, balloons and a condolence card that read "R.I.P. to my twin dj & da homie James AKA GP Gbabli da Princess." They declined to discuss what might have led to the shootings.

Both victims have Florida arrest records. Johnson's included burglaries and Nicholas' included possession of drugs.

Sheriff's officials said there's no known motive yet.

Contact Paul Guzzo at [email protected] Follow @PGuzzoTimes.

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